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EVE Online

CCP talks new EVE destroyer, cash shop SKINs

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

CCP released a pair of EVE dev blogs today, one of which focuses on a new tactical destroyer slated for February's Tiamat release. The other entry concerns ship painting, and more specifically Super Kerr-Induced Nanocoatings, or SKINs, if you prefer.

SKINs differ from the paint jobs currently populating EVE's cash shop in that they function as "a license to use a specific design or pattern for a ship. You then apply that license to your character and then your character will be licensed to use that design whenever you wish," according to the blog.

For now, CCP says, SKINs are permanent and cannot be lost even if you're podded.

EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

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The MMO genre is defined by the online interactions of thousands of players, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the single-shard sandbox of EVE Online. While it's possible to play EVE solo, it's the players who make most of the game's meaningful content, and it's only in your emergent interactions with other players that I think the game truly comes to life. Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of CCP supporting EVE's power players, the corporation owners, fleet commanders, and event organisers who give the rest of us something fun to do. Now it looks like CCP is starting to deliver that support, with developers currently looking at updating EVE's archaic corp management tools.

CCP Punkturis recently asked corporation owners for a list of the most annoying "little things" they'd like to see fixed with the corporation management interface and was instead flooded with requests for big features and complete overhauls. Developers later confirmed on The o7 Show that at least one highly requested big feature is definitely on its way: CEOs will soon be able to switch off friendly-fire between corp members. The threat of corporate infiltrators attacking corp members has been a massive barrier preventing corps from recruiting new players, so its removal is good news for everyone (except spies). So now that corporation management is finally back on the drawing board, what other features do corp owners need?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at a few ideas for corporation tools and features that would make EVE a better place for everyone.

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One Shots: Christmas leftovers

Screenshots, EVE Online, Culture, Ultima Online, One Shots, Miscellaneous, Trove, Landmark

You guys! Even though Christmas is well and over, you're still sending me wonderful screenshot presents! I'm blushing. I don't even know what to say other than, "You rock! Also, no butt pictures!"

Our first non-posterior shot is from reader Jake, who braved the heart of a volcano for this vista: "Here's a picture of my Dracolyte in Trove after having finished a really cool dungeon that took me down into the depths of a volcano. After a while, you start to see similar dungeon types repeated, but this was a new one for me. I kept expecting to see a conflicted hobbit contemplating a ring as I descended the volcano, but alas, nothing but lava beetles and an ember dragon."

What will we find when we descend into the rest of our player-submitted screenshots for this week? Hopefully more than lava beetles!

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CCP and CSM IX review the year in EVE

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

CCP has published a recap of the year in EVE as viewed through the eyes of the ninth Council of Stellar Management.

If you're new to EVE, it's worth noting that the CSM is an elected body of player representatives who "are in constant contact with the EVE Online dev team in order to have a front line, up to date view on features and improvements that are currently being developed for EVE."

Elections for CSM X will open on February 25th and close on March 10th.

EVE Online patches in Proteus

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription

Deep space never looked as good in EVE Online as it does today, now that the Proteus release has gone live. This monthly update has made visual improvements to the Gallente Exequror and the asteroid fields that players will encounter on a regular basis.

Other Proteus features include a balance pass on recon ships, additional high-end exploration sites, improvements to the beta star map, new player mining locations, and a streamlining of some module groups.

You can check out the Proteus features page or read up on the patch notes for more info. EVE's next update, Tiamat, is scheduled for February 12th.

EVE Online video gives brief 'recon' of Proteus

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Sandbox, Subscription

Sometimes all it takes is a good preview video to ratchet up one's personal excitement and anticipation over an upcoming release. If you're an EVE Online fan, then you might get that rush from the following brief video in which the devs outline Proteus' main features.

One of the biggest features of Proteus is a full rebalance for recon ships, including making them more sturdy and completely immune to directional scanners. The update will also contain the module tier side project, beta starmap tweaks, permanent places for newbies to mine, and visual improvements to one of the ships and asteroid belts.

Check out the video after the break!

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CCP shows historical player age distribution in EVE

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

"Every EVE player likes math, or at least the potential destruction it unlocks," CCP says in the comments of its latest YouTube vid. The reel is basically one minute and 38 seconds worth of graph porn showing how EVE's players have "matured" over the past 11 years.

Or, as another commenter puts it, CCP has basically "stolen our young adult lives." Click past the cut to see the clip.

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EVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

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December was a great month for EVE Online players, with the Rhea update opening new wormhole systems for the first time since 2009, updating the star map and all ships with amazing new visuals, and advancing the Sleeper storyline with mysterious cloaked structures appearing all over EVE and Sleeper NPCs making incursions into normal space. The update also brought us a ship-carrying freighter called the Bowhead and the first of a new line of tech 3 tactical destroyers called the Confessor. While every race will eventually get its own tech 3 destroyer, the Amarr Confessor was the first to be released due to the Amarr winning a research race player event.

Tactical Destroyers are a completely new class of ship in EVE with the ability to transform between three different combat modes in the middle of a fight to adapt to changing circumstances. Defense Mode boosts armour resistances and reduces the ship's signature radius, Propulsion Mode increases the ship's speed and agility, and Sharpshooter Mode increases turret optimal range and boosts the ship's sensors. With Confessor prices having now dropped below the 100 million ISK mark and more pilots finishing the skill training required, people have started figuring out some interesting ship setups for it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I check out a few of the Confessor setups players have devised so far and look at what makes this transforming terror tick.

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EVE Online player loses $1,500 in a ship attack

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Every time CCP thinks about the fact that you can toss thousands of dollars into a game and get nothing their accountants grow a bit larger.
You would think that no one in EVE Online would ever risk carrying around a huge pile of PLEX these days, especially after the last dozen times that something went south while someone was transporting large sums of money. But Ozuwara Ozuwara was not the kind of player to be deterred by the very real possibility of having his precious cargo destroyed. So he loaded $1,500 worth of PLEX into his ship, set off for deep space, and then got blown up by fellow player Diorden without ever making his way out of high-security space.

Yes, all of the PLEX was destroyed, all 84 pieces, which comes out to roughly 70 billion ISK on the open market. The bright side is that this might at least teach the lesson that this cargo is too valuable to cart around unguarded, by which we mean that you can check back in here a couple of months from now to see the same thing happen again to another player.

Latest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE's forthcoming Proteus release will feature the second round of rebalancing work that CCP has termed Module Tiericide. Today's dev blog explains some of the changes courtesy of a sizable chart that shows stats like CPU usage, optimal range, powergrid usage, and more.

There are a lot of numbers to parse, but if you're into that sort of thing, CCP says that it will be collecting player feedback and acting on it prior to Proteus' January 13th launch date.

CCP looking for EVE Fanfest speakers

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

The 2015 version of EVE's annual Fanfest is only three months away! CCP is looking to ramp up player engagement during the event, though it says it will not be "replacing any developer presentations with community ones." The firm does want to "increase the number of player-run sessions," though, and its latest news article outlines how you can get involved in 45-minute panels, 10- to 20-minute presentations, or five-minute "lightning talk" events.

EVE Evolved: EVE Online vs. Elite: Dangerous

EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, Hands-On, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, Elite: Dangerous

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Like many EVE Online players, I grew up playing early sci-fi games like Elite and its sequel Frontier. In fact, CCP's recently released stats on the distribution of ages within the EVE community shows a peak around 29 years old, meaning that most players grew up in that same gaming era. A big part of what initially drew me to EVE Online was the prospect of playing the same kind of massive trading and space exploration game with other people, and for over 10 years it's scratched that sci-fi sandbox itch. I've watched EVE grow from a relatively unknown game with around 40,000 subscribers and laggy cruiser skirmishes into a vast game where thousands of players wage war for territory, profit, or just the adrenaline rush of PvP with something valuable on the line.

Now that Elite: Dangerous is finally here, I want to see whether it can scratch the same sandbox itch as EVE and to what extent the two games can be compared. Both feature customisable ship fittings, open-world PvP with a criminal justice system, and real financial loss on death, for example, but the end result is two very different gameplay styles. And both also have that same intoxicating notion of exploring the unknown and try to make you feel like you're in a living world, but they take very different approaches to world design, content, and travel. Elite may not be a full-fledged MMO, but with a sandbox made of 400 billion procedurally generated stars and an open play mode that seamlessly merges players' games together, does it matter?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I compare my experiences in Elite: Dangerous to my experiences in EVE Online and look at their differing strategies with regard to server model, active and passive gameplay, and the new player experience.

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EVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

Players who have been skirting EVE Online's TOS might find themselves on the bad side of a ban come 2015, as the studio is rolling out tougher rules on violators in the new year. CCP posted a security blog in which it outlined how real-money traders will be punished, as well as those engaging in other activities such as input broadcasting and multiplexing.

While CCP didn't post the number of bans it performed in 2014, it did show a few graphs illustrating where the problem areas lay. Banned accounts this year, permanent and temporary, were divided up by macro use (56%), ISK selling (18%), ISK buying (5%), modified clients (4%), ISK spamming (1%), and other (16%).

On the brighter side of news, the team is hard at work on January's Proteus patch with sneakier combat recon ships, improved asteroid belt visuals, and the retirement of industry teams.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

EVE Online and DUST 514 celebrate the holiday season

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, Subscription

It's usually hard to find a way to mention a good year and DUST 514 in the same space.
The year is wrapping up and EVE Online players are getting presents to celebrate. CCP Games has posted a short recap of the past year and an announcement of the holiday gifts players can expect to receive as a paid subscriber. That includes snowballs, fireworks, jackets, and a set of trinkets to commemorate the past year. Players can also look forward to 20 free days of multiple character training as a final additional gift. All of these promotions are available until January 11th.

Meanwhile, for those of you who prefer to explore this particular universe via a console shooter, DUST 514 is having a holiday event with its 12 Days of DUST. Starting on December 25th, each day will bring a new reward to players who finish three daily missions, so you'll have to keep playing through January 5th to unlock all the rewards. A special reward is awaiting those who clear everything, so get strapped in and ready to shoot if you want to celebrate the holidays that way.

EVE Online nixes industry teams

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

Not every new idea is going to take off and be a smash hit, as CCP definitely understands this as much as anyone. The EVE Online developer said that the implementation of industry teams earlier this year has been vastly underused, and as a result, teams will be removed from the game entirely in 2015.

"We have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it -- with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research," CCP wrote.

Industry teams had allowed players to hire NPCs to help out with industry jobs. The feature will be "methodically removed" over the next few months, although players will be able to use teams until they are forceably retired.

On another note, EVE tweeted that it has freed up over six million names from former trial players and has made them available for general use.

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